07 February 2011


Before I left my last workplace, one of my colleagues, SS, gave me the book - A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes from My Kitchen Table. SS also wrote me a very sweet note and explained that the book was 'a reminder of the ability of food blogs to move people.' How true. The book was written by Molly Wizenberg, the wonderful writer behind the food blog 'Orangette'. I've been reading her food blog, and have always been taken in by how grounded and accessible her food blog is.

So when I felt like I had lost some pizzazz in my steps, it was only apt that I picked up the book again. It was like the much needed breath of fresh air that I needed. Together with the sporadic episodes of Junior Masterchef that I managed to catch on cable tele, I felt life return to my fingertips. Among other things, I felt like making buttery scones, clotted cream, poached pears, hearty soups and roasting a rack of lamb.

I've tried 2 recipes from Molly's book so far, and both have worked great. The later one I tried - French Style Yogurt Cake with Lemon - was truly stellar. It is a humble looking cake that was perfectly moist, sweet and had just the right amount of tang. I've never felt so proud of any cake I've baked in the past and am grateful to both SS and Molly for having brought this amazing yogurt cake into my life. It got rave reviews from family and is practically gone.

To end this post, here's a photo, ala Orangette, of today's tea.


Update: I brought it to work and got many thumbs up too.

French-Style Yogurt Cake with Lemon
From 'A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes from my Kitchen Table'
1 1/2 cups plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
2 tsp grated lemon zest
1/2 cup well-stirred plain yogurt (not low fat/nonfat)
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil (e.g. canola)

Syrup - 1/4 cup sifted powdered sugar and 1/4 cup lemon juice
Icing - 1 cup sifted powdered sugar and 3 tbsp lemon juice
(I found that I had to double the icing recipe to adequately coat my cake.)

Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius.
Grease a 9-inch round cake pan with butter or cooking spray.
Line the bottom of the pan with a round baking paper, and grease it too.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Add lemon zest and whisk again.
In a large bowl, combine yogurt, sugar and eggs, stirring to mix well.
Add flour mixture and stir to just combine.
Add oil and stir well until it comes together into a smooth, pale yellow batter.
Pour into prepared pan and bake for 25 - 35 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean. Do not overbake.

In the meantime, combine the ingredients for the syrup and icing.
(You may choose to add only the syrup or only the icing, or to add both. I added both to great effect.)

When the cake is done, cool it in the pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes.
Run a thin knife around the edge of the pan and invert it onto a wide, flat plate.
Remove and discard the baking paper.
Invert the cake back onto the wire rack so that it sits upright with the slightly domed side facing up.

Set the wire rack over a rimmed baking sheet.
Spoon the syrup slowly atop the warm cake - do not worry if some of the syrup runs down the sides and onto the baking sheet.
Let the cake cool completely.

Spoon the smooth icing over the cooled cake and serve immediately (when the icing is soft and juicy) or after 1 hour (when the icing has set).


San said...

hey D! :-) I truly get what you mean - I finally baked some brownies for Chinese New Year after many months away from the oven - all the boys (big and small) were hopping around with delight. The power of homemade goodness!

Daffy said...

San! So nice to hear from you! :) I can't wait to try more recipes from the book, thank you for it!